Sigwalt Nonpareil #24 Restoration, Paint or not?

Long intro to my question. The press I have belonged to my father who worked in his fathers printing shop and then continued on after his death. My father gave me this press in my early teens (I’m 69 now). Ive recently dug it out of storage and am cleaning it up for display in my home. Of course I’ll need new rollers. Only thing missing is a set of grippers.

The press still has some of the original decorative paint in tact. What is the general opinion on keeping this paint and not worrying about a repaint. I can get the grime off and derust those few places. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

image: IMG_8742.JPG


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Dear Bill — Do not paint over. The consensus with antiques nowadays is to leave an original finish. There are many examples where an item in original condition is FAR more valuable than one restored. As the saying goes, “They’re only original once.”

It is great you have that connection to your father and grandfather. I enjoyed reading it.

Michael, thanks for your comments. I have decided not to strip and paint it. I have disassembled it, cleaned it up and reassembled. Works just fine. I am ordering a new set of rollers and now will try to find some grippers for it. I’ll post some pictures when done.